On 21 May ZSL is presenting an exclusive gala evening, a safari experience inspired by sights and sounds of India, the refuge of the Asian lion. There is also an Abseil for Lions fundraising event on 12 July.
To celebrate, this month we are featuring two wonderful images of Asian lions by Edward Lear, although a noted zoological artist at that time, he is now better known for his `nonsense’ poems.
The first is an original painting of an Asian lion, circa 1835
The second is the printed plate based on the painting
This was published as Plate 24 Felis leo goojratensis in Volume 1 of the Transactions of the Zoological Society in 1835 to accompany the first published scientific description of an Asian lion, the article was titled Some account of the maneless Lion of Guzerat by Capt. Walter Smee of the Bombay Army, F.Z.S.
As you can see there are differences between the painting and the lithograph, the animal itself looks quite different and the background varies.
In his article Smee states in rather flowery language `there exists a race in which the king of beasts is destitute of the flowing mane which constitutes the most remarkable of his regal adornments’.
The full paper by Captain Walter Smee is freely available online as a `hidden gem’ at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1096-3642.1835.tb00615.x/abstract
Many resources are available in ZSL Library and no appointment is necessary to use these, however we do ask visitors to make an appointment if you intend to use any of our `special collections.
If you are a ZSL member please bring your membership card when visiting ZSL Library. If you are not a member of ZSL will need proof of address and photographic ID when you visit.
Use our online catalogue to find more detailed information about specific items in our holdings. It also contains links to relevant online resources:
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.